Satellite symposium 1: GABAergic inhibitory circuits in health and disease

Date: May 30, 2020

Location: Hotel Bonaventure Montreal (CAN Meeting HQ)

Organizers: Lisa Topolnik, Graziella Di Cristo, Jean-Claude Lacaille, Elsa Rossignol, Sylvain Williams

Information processing within different brain regions is coordinated via a large diversity of local circuit and long-range projecting GABAergic neurons. Similar to traffic lights positioned at different crossroads, GABAergic neurons keep the operation of circuits in order allowing for complex brain computations associated with cognitive functions. This symposium will bring together the leading Canadian scientists and trainees working in the field of GABAergic circuits to summarize recent findings in different laboratories, exchange new ideas and foster collaborations between groups.

The symposium will cover different topics within the GABAergic circuit theme, including circuit development (Session 1), synaptic plasticity and interneuron-glia interactions (Session 2), GABAergic cell diversity with a focus on long-range and disinhibitory circuit elements (Sessions 3), role in network activity and animal behavior and dysfunction in brain disorders such as epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer and ALS (Session 4).

Within each session, a dedicated time slot will be reserved for presentations by trainees, providing opportunities for early career scientists to highlight their contributions to this field. This symposium will be a first step in initiating successful collaborative projects and building a Canadian GABA Network, and may outgrow in further meetings and exciting research opportunities.

Invited speakers

  1. Anastassia Voronova (UAlberta)
  2. Elsa Rossignol (UdeM)
  3. Frances Skinner (Krembil, UToronto)
  4. Graziella Di Cristo (UdeM)
  5. Jean-Claude Lacaille (UdeM)
  6. Jesper Sjostrom (McGill)
  7. Julie Lefebvre (SickKids, UToronto)
  8. Lisa Topolnik (ULaval)
  9. Massimo Avoli (McGill)
  10. Melanie Woodin (UToronto)
  11. Natalia de Marco, WCM Brain & Mind Research Institute, USA
  12. Richard Robitaille (UdeM)
  13. Simon Chen (UOttawa)
  14. Simon Gosgnach (UAlberta)
  15. Sylvain Williams (McGill)
  16. Vikaas Sohal (USF, USA)

Event Agenda / Program:

 May 30th

  • 8h00: arrival and registration
  • 8h30 Opening remarks

8h45 – 10h15/ Session 1: Development of cortical GABAergic circuits (chair Graziella Di Cristo)

  • 8h45-9h05: Graziella Di Cristo, Université de Montréal – Sensitive periods for refinement of cortical GABAergic circuits
  • 9h05-9h25: Anastassia Voronova, University of Alberta – Regulation of neural precursor cell function by GABAergic neurons.
  • 9h25-9h45: Julie Lefebvre, SickKids/ University of Toronto – Control of inhibitory interneuron number and diversity in the developing cerebellar circuitry.
  • 9h45-10h15: Natalia de Marco, WCM Brain & Mind Research Institute, USA – Network activity in the development of inhibitory circuits.

10h15 – 10h30/ Coffee break

10h30 – 12h20/ Session 2: GABAergic synaptic circuits and plasticity (chair Jean-Claude Lacaille)

  • 10h30-10h50: Jesper Sjöström, McGill University – Synapse-type-specific plasticity in neocortical circuits.
  • 10h50-11h10: Jean-Claude Lacaille, Université de Montréal – Somatostatin interneuron plasticity and memory.
  • 11h10-11h30: Melanie Woodin, University of Toronto – Inhibitory synaptic plasticity in health and disease.
  • 11h30-11h50: Richard Robitaille, Université de Montréal – Heterogeneous glial regulation of inhibitory hippocampal synapses.
  • 11h50-12h05: Trainee #1 selected from participants
  • 12h05-12h20: Trainee #2 selected from participants

12h20 – 13h30 Lunch and networking

13h30 – 15h20/ Session 3: GABAergic circuits: cell diversity, connectivity and function (chair Lisa Topolnik)

  • 13h30-13h50: Lisa Topolnik, Université Laval – Hippocampal disinhibitory circuits: cell types, connectivity and function.
  • 13h50-14h10: Frances Skinner, Krembil Research Institute/ University of Toronto – Harnessing interneuron cell-specific computational models to understand GABAergic microcircuit contributions and predict function
  • 14h10-14h30: Simon Chen, University of Ottawa – Cell-type specific regulation of motor learning by the activity-dependent transcription factor Npas4.
  • 14h30-14h50: Simon Gosgnach (UAlberta) – Identification of discrete populations of spinal inhibitory interneurons responsible for coordinating mammalian locomotor activity.
  • 14h50-15h05: Trainee #3 selected from participants
  • 15h05-15h20: Trainee #4 selected from participants
  • 15h20 – 16h00/ Coffee break + Group Photo

16h00 – 18h00/ Session 4: GABAergic circuits: network activity in health and disease (chairs Sylvain Williams and Elsa Rossignol)

  • 16h00-16h30: Vikaas Sohal, University of California, San Francisco, USA – Prefrontal interneurons and oscillations in cognitive and emotional behaviors.
  • 16h30-16h50: Sylvain Williams, McGill University – Revealing the role of interneurons in memory with calcium imaging in freely behaving mice.
  • 16h50-17h10: Massimo Avoli, McGill University – Inhibition, focal seizures and epileptogenesis.
  • 17h10-17h30: Elsa Rossignol, Université de Montréal – Frontal interneurons and cognitive-behavioral impairments in epilepsy
  • 17h30-17h45: Trainee #5 selected from participants
  • 17h45-18h00: Trainee #6 selected from participants


18h00 Closing remarks



Please use the following link to register: